As we come closer to the publication of E.L. James’ recently announced new Fifty Shades Of Grey book — set to coincide with Christian Grey’s birthday on June 18 — a couple of curious things have thrust forward. The new novel, announced June 1, is to be told from Mr. Grey’s point of view. But Mr Grey’s POV is evidently in danger of being leaked, with the BBC reporting Kent police have launched an investigation into the theft of the new novel after publisher Random House discovered a copy of Grey had gone missing on Monday. So far, there’s been no online leak.
However, the screenwriter of the first film, produced out of the massively popular initial S&M trilogy, has said her “heart really was broken” by the process of turning the first book into a screenplay. Speaking on Bret Easton Ellis’s podcast, Kelly Marcel said, “I don’t say it out of any kind of bitterness or anger or anything like that. I just don’t feel like I can watch it without feeling some pain about how different it is to what I initially wrote.”
The publishing phenom, whose first feature installment was released this year to an ultimate box office climax of over $570M worldwide, had its critics — and legions of fans — but was also plagued by stories of clashes between James and the production.
Marcel recently said, per BBC News, “I didn’t want the story to be linear; I wanted it to begin at the end of the film, and for us to meet in the middle. So you start with the spanking, and you have these sort of flashes that go throughout the film… I wanted to take the inner goddess out, and all of Ana’s inner monologue… I wanted to remove a lot of the dialogue. I felt it could be a really sexy film if there wasn’t so much talking in it.”
Reviews following the world premiere in Berlin this winter were not unkind. Many cited the fact that the feature version could only be an improvement on what many considered James’ lumpy prose.
Marcel explained her reaction thusly: “When I delivered that script was when I realized that all of them saying, ‘Yeah, absolutely this is what we want!’, and, ‘You can write anything you like and get crazy and artistic with it’ — that was utter, utter bullsh*t. Rightly so. (EL James) was like, ‘This isn’t what I want it to be, and I don’t think this is the film the fans are looking for…’ Ultimately, (she) did have all of the control.”
And it looks like James, whose real name is Erika Mitchell, will closely wield power over her creations. Her husband Niall Leonard is due to write the screenplay for the Fifty Shades Of Grey sequel which is expected to hit cinemas in 2017, but does not yet have a director.